Rising seas has the Greater Miami region's aquifers in danger of salty contamination with flooding, old infrastructure, and underwater ground flow through porous limestone bedrock. Already, in some places throughout Florida, blurry ribbons of saline cloud the bottom of pristine freshwater springs. Already, in some places limestone bedrock caves in forming sinkholes, swallowing houses and depleting property value. Already, we know that the thin, porous bedrock is weakened from irresponsible irrigation practices, reckless property developers, and an overall disregard for the health of the land.
Worries of depleted drinking water, flooding, and sinkholes fall to silence in the dense, egocentric discussions of politicians and a greed-laced, shortsightedness of developers and businesses.
To see the extent of Florida's self inflicted societal wounds and complete lack of regard for homeowners financial and physical safety, I point to the existence of what some local papers began calling "Zombie pools"--the festering swimming pools of foreclosed homes, neglected for sometimes years in legal limbo between its' owners eviction and banks reclaiming the property.
While foreclosed homes sitting in limbo is a national issue, Florida's tropical location complicates things. The cesspools formed in backyards across the state are attracting hoards of mosquitoes and, in turn, mosquito-borne viruses. Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and West Nile have been the most recent threats and seeing that political action is about as stagnant as the zombie pools themselves, more are likely to pop up.
Some steps have been taken. Depending on the location of the pools, Mosquito Control can use insecticide in spray or pill form, or even release mosquito-eating fish depending on the state of the water.
But all of this is subsequent to the issues at hand -- people being evicted from their homes long before banks can even take full responsibility of them. Then, the responsibility falls on the hands of the state, and the pockets of tax payers. Top it off with a massive influx of new year-round mosquito nesting grounds and nature proves again that in the tropics, human error comes at an even higher cost than elsewhere.
It's about time Florida starts acknowledging it's geography and enacting policies and protections that reflect the uniqueness of its' location. Mini-mansions can't be built on porous land, known to be prone to sink holes. Golf courses and farms can't routinely suck water straight out of underground aquifers without strategic planning and infrastructure to protect the land and water supply. Politicians and developers can't continue ignoring the incredibly unique geography and climate of their state, and homeowners can't sit idly by, willingly blind to the contradictions of their tropical paradise, while they foot the bill for a broken system.
Hmm...does Florida has a case of DE(west)NIAL?? Good one, right?!
|This is the original Florida painting. Ouch.|
Here are links to some of the articles and things I read to get my info: